Following a fire that saw Sydenham icon, The General Gordon Hotel, lie dormant for nearly three years, the pub has been reborn in a way that pays tribute to its theatrical past. From its decorated army namesake to one of Sydney’s first female publicans, it presents with an eclectic new face.
The General Gordon Hotel will re-open its doors on 26 February after receiving a multimillion-dollar makeover with a strong female duo at the venue’s helm, apt for a pub that was one of the leaders in its day with one of Sydney’s first female licensees, Bridget Smith.
With 25 years in the hospitality industry, current hotel licensee and inner west resident and loyalist, Sarah Lewis explains, “This building has had such a chequered and rich history, so we’ve worked hard to acknowledge this through subtle nods to its remarkable journey. Both the front and back bars feature charred wood in memory of the 2018 fire and the original heritage façade has been refreshed and revived to its former glory”.
The Sydenham icon takes its name from the renowned military hero General Charles George Gordon who was recognised for his personal bravery, sterling service to the British Empire around the world and his work for the poor in Britain. Gordon was, in fact, something of an oddity and an unconventional character which has been infiltrated throughout the pub since its very beginnings.
Designed by AVA Architects to have several distinct spaces, the alfresco courtyard is a focal area within the newly renovated pub encompassing a sculptural pergola layered with lush greenery and creating an Instaworthy space that can be enjoyed come rain, hail, or shine.
Meanwhile, the bright and welcoming style bistro area, full of eclectic furniture and styling ideal for casual dining, is connected to the modern sports bar which echoes the old-style public bar with its Terrazzo floor tiles and historic memorabilia covering the timber walls.
When it comes to the kitchen, head chef Kirsten Baker knows her way around a pub kitchen after 25 years with venues like Vic on The Park under her belt. Simply put, the menu is an array of pub classics with a focus on bringing local produce to the forefront.
“The General’s Oven”, a central woodfired feature of the kitchen sees a full repertoire of pizzas and dishes like the succulent ‘12 Hour beef short rib mushroom and shallot spaetzle, grilled asparagus, parmesan crumb’ and ‘Wood roasted pumpkin maple and lime quinoa, green beans, coconut flakes, almonds, black beans, broccoli, beetroot jam’.
Those with dietary requirements are also well catered for with dishes such as the ‘Blistered ox heart tomato with heirloom tomatoes, goats’ cheese, olives, seasonal leaves, parmesan filo, tomato and fennel vinaigrette’ or the ‘Vegan chickpea and sweet potato patty, spinach, fire-roasted peppers, smoked avocado’.
JDA Hotels, owned and operated by the publican Feros family (not associated with the Feros Group), is behind the newly renovated pub and brings a 50-year legacy in the hospitality industry. The group currently owns nine venues including the iconic and multi-award winning, The Mill Hotel in Southwest Sydney.
JDA Hotel’s CEO, John Feros adds, “It’s been a tough road for the pub. The devastation from the fire combined with the lengthy renovation has been a challenge for our team and the local community. The re-opening signifies a fresh and positive start for The General Gordon, and one that JDA Hotels is incredibly honoured to be behind given the pub’s rich history and iconic standpoint within the community. Welcoming back both new and loyal patrons will be another poignant milestone for The General Gordon, and we cannot wait to get that first schooner poured!”
With 8 rooms, the accommodation on the first floor will see visitors traverse up the stairs lined with attention grabbing photos that create a dramatic entrance. The rooms themselves will give visitors an opportunity to relax through the modern, compact, comfortable spaces with added quirkiness thanks to plush linen and bright bathrooms with contemporary finishes.
For more information, please sign up to the mailing list via the website http://generalgordonhotel.com.au/sign-up/ or visit the social media channels via the links below.
Opening Hours 10am-3am Monday to Saturday, 10am-12am Sunday.